Introducing the world’s first digital LOA, creating instant phone porting
When was the last time you sent a personal letter through the U.S. mail?
For obvious reasons, the vast majority prefers email to what’s now called ‘snail mail.’ And as of this writing, even email is being replaced by text messaging (aka SMS) for the instant gratification of having messages read within five minutes.
Yet phone ‘porting’ or transferring phone number(s) to a different carrier is still a huge time-, labor- and paperwork-intensive process, where the PIN code required for porting is snail-mailed to you.
That’s all changing, thanks to Text Protect™.
Killing Two Major Problems with a Single Bullet
By creating the first and only electronic digital Letter of Authorization (LOA), Text Protect saves a significant amount of time and money in the porting process. Plus, it can help prevent what’s called ‘port-out’ fraud.
Text Protect™ takes a whole new approach to the porting of both voice and messaging services. By creating a new level of authorization, only the true owner of the phone number(s) can make any changes such as porting or text enablement.
The process is simple: the owner generates an electronic PIN code that must be entered to make any changes. This eight-digit alphanumeric PIN replaces the old paper document that gets transmitted to and from the enablement registries and snail-mailed to the owner.
And in the process, it helps prevent what’s called port-out fraud, a type of phone fraud that is on the rise.
To prevent port-out fraud during the transfer of voice services, the telecom industry adopted a process that includes a written LOA and a two-factor authentication where a 3rd party calls to verify the porting request. Everyone – both individuals and enterprises – must engage in this same outmoded LOA process to move their number(s) when switching carriers.
Faster Than a Speeding Bullet… and Bullet-Proof, Too!
However, written LOAs are not bullet proof, as bad actors can still submit phone number porting requests. While port-out fraud has been an industry problem for a long time, major carriers such as T-Mobile have reported an uptick in this illegal activity.
The LOA to port-out must be dated within 30 days of the request, and in some cases requires a copy of the customer’s current phone bill. Since the LOA can vary between vendors, it’s not unusual for the paperwork to be rejected by the releasing vendor, adding even more time, expense and frustration to the process.
And, while this verification process may reduce the risk of fraudulent activity on the voice portion of a phone number, it doesn’t eliminate the risk of fraud on the text portion – a type of fraud known as ‘slamming.’ To learn more about how to prevent slamming, read our recent blog, “Own Your Numbers… Before Someone Else Does.”
In short, text enablement of local and Toll-Free numbers has exposed even more risks during the porting process. And unlike voice, text messaging is not regulated by the FCC, so there’s literally no recourse against fraudulent players or even vendors who deny or delay number ownership and porting requests.
To learn more about the world’s first digital LOA and how it can help save you significant time and money, get in touch.